Experts, riders skeptical of brain injuries induced by coasters

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

While a panel investigates an alleged link between coasters and brain injuries, many experts and riders alike aren't a bit worried. Experts point out that the case against roller coasters is almost entirely anecdotal, and anecdotal cases do not make for scientific proof.

Read more from the Chicago Tribune.

Jeff's avatar

This is good to read. Notice that as the hype subsides, the simple fact that there are so few injuries becomes obvious. I don't think anyone would disagree that the rides may cause damage with people who have pre-existing conditions, but to suggest that the rides as a matter of fact can cause damage to everyone is insane. Markey and the Funky Bunch will have to come to terms with that.

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The problem is that the people feeding the information to Markey (i.e. the RnRC incident) don't fully grasp what is going on.

I'm not saying that Rock 'N Roller Coaster caused her problem. I've ridden it. Smoothest Vekoma coaster you can find. But the problem most likely has nothing to do with g-forces. Headbanging could be the offender here (but, again, the ride is smooth), and combined with the darkness, if the woman had very little strength in her neck, the beating could have been a problem.

That is, if, and only if, the ride caused this, which I'm not fully convinced of. Then again, I don't want to take the naiive route and say that the ride certainly didn't cause it, because it is a possibility, but in my eyes, only if she didn't have the strength to control her head.

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CPLady's avatar

Thanks Wolf!

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Thanks for the registration info Wolf :)

Of course, Drachen Fire always took a lot of heat for this. My family knows someone who suffered from a brain aneurysm soon after riding DF, and there were other cases too.

I never bought that coasters cause this sort of thing. However, I definitely think that if you have a problem beforehand (that you may or may not know of), riding a rough coaster could bring it to the surface.

Actually, using the Brain Injury Institutes statistics and the number of cases that Markey has reported, it seems that there is a negative correlation between amusement park attendance and brain injury. In other words, a person who attends an amusement park on a given day is less likely to have a traumatic brain injury that day than someone who doesn't go to an amusement park on that day.

Now, I don't honestly believe that attending an amusement park protects your brain, however the low rate of brain injury points out how little risk there is. This low rate is probably due to two factors. First, our behaviour at amusement parks is limited so that we are less likely to do stupid things like falling off a ladder that we didn't tie off. Second, amusement park attendees are younger than the average population and therefore probably less vulnerable to brain injuries

An aneurysm is a long term preexisting condition. It is not caused by a roller coaster. Unless the bleeding out of the anuerysm was noted within hours after riding it was probably triggered by something else. At the same time I have to agree that DF would have been one of the more likely coasters to cause problems with a preexisting aneurysm.

Are there any dangers from a total blackout on a ride? Titan does it to be twice in both helix elements. I've had grey outs on Shockwave (both GAm and OT).

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